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Old 11-01-2010, 02:43 PM
 
11 posts, read 16,850 times
Reputation: 13
Default Problem going to Tier 3 in MA

I just finished Tier 2 and filed my weekly claim again today. I thought the process to go to Tier 3 in MA was automatic, but this is the response I received:
"Our records indicate you have no benefits on this claim, if you are still unemployed after May 1, 2010 and you have worked in the past 15 months, you may file a new claim"

I have been unemployed since May 1, 2009. I ran out of my first 26 weeks last November, when I ran out it gave me a number to call, I called and received the 20 weeks of Tier 1. This ran out in April. I got a similar message as I did today when I finished Tier 1 saying that I will get no more money. I assumed that was it for unemployment since it didn't say I qualified for another extension or list a phone # like it did last November so from April to the end of July I just lived on savings. I also just had a baby at the time so wasn't looking for work. When Obama extended the deadline again in July I was told by my family to go down and try to file again. I didn't understand all the talk about tier 1, 2, 3, etc back then and figured I had nothing to lose but a few hours of my time. I was immediately put on Tier 2 and started filing weekly again. 2 weeks ago I hit 0 balance, but I filed last week and it said I would get a check and I did, though the statement still reported a 0 balance. And now this week it says I have to refile??

I tried phoning the line for the extensions but it said to call back on Wednesday (I guess because my SSN ends in a 5).

Has this happened to anyone else when they moved to tier 3? I thought everything would be okay since it isn't November 27 yet (the deadline it lists to apply for a new tier).
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:39 AM
 
Location: .
126 posts, read 284,730 times
Reputation: 67
No, you need to call every time to advance to a different tier in MA. They say you don't have to, but you do. I had to every time. I would recommend calling the number again, and when the automated voice asks for SSN just change the last number to the corresponding one below, they have no way to check:

Mon: 0 - 1
Tues: 2 - 3
Wed: 4 - 6
Thurs: 7 - 9
Fri & Sat: any numbers

This is how I was able to finally get in contact with an actual person on Monday, even though my actual SSN gives me a different day to call.

I can't tell you anything more. The system is totally messed up and people get screwed over all the time. Make sure to get a specific answer from whomever you talk to. If any part of it sounds fishy, answers like "oh, your benefits just ended" or "that's just what happens sometimes", you are completely within your rights to call back and speak to someone else. In the MA UI offices very often the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. About only half of the people working in the offices seem to have any accurate information. Good luck.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:12 AM
 
11 posts, read 16,850 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks. I called yesterday and after being on hold for an hour finally got a person who spent 1 minute with me. She said when I filed on Monday that it triggered tier 3 to start and that message was because tier 2 was over. She said I should get my check this week, even though webcert never said that. I hope she is right. I don't know why they do that. You figure they could make the message a bit more clear then making people freak out like that and then waste all that time having to then call them for a one minute answer.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:25 PM
 
Location: .
126 posts, read 284,730 times
Reputation: 67
I understand and believe me I share your frustration. But it seems to be the system we're stuck with for right now. Glad that you were able to get it cleared up though. Let me know if you have any other issues.
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:08 AM
 
4 posts, read 58,662 times
Reputation: 12
Default Where Can I Find the Specific Detailed EUC & EB Rules for MA??

Where can I find the actual rules that the MA Div. of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is supposed to use when calculating the amount of benefits under the various extensions (euc tiers and EB)?

I've so far been unable to find them in the Code of MA Regulations (CMR) or the MA General Laws (MGL).

I earned enough to qualify for the maximum benefit. During my "regular" claim, filed in Aug 2009, my benefit was $628/week. For the first extension (Tier 1) it was $653/week. But then for Tier 2 it suddenly was reduced to $628/week then for Tier 3 was $625/week.

I need to find the rules that are detailed and specific enough so that I can figure out what my weekly benefit was supposed to be. Nothing in the printed matter the DUA has mailed me or that I've found on the DUA web site gives this specific information. I need a way to check to see if DUA has made an error in my benefit amounts.

My last monetary determination mailed to me by DUA for Tier 3 did something very odd. Whereas the determinations for Tier 1 and Tier 2 had been based on my most recent unemployment claim filed around August, 2009 when the max weekly benefit rate was $628/week for such claims, the monetary determination I recently received for my Tier 3 suddenly changed to be based on my previous claim which was filed around March, 2008 back when the max benefit was $600/week. It seems that DUA is now paying me only $600/week plus the $25/week Federal Additional Comensation (FAC) to arrive at my current benefit of $625/week (I am assuming this is what is going on, do not know for sure).

In particular, can MA arbitrarily change midstream and suddenly start basing my weekly benefit amount on my March 2008 claim even though MA had previously been basing it on my Aug 2009 claim, apparently in order to reduce my weekly benefit?

That issue begs one other question. For argument's sake, assume Congress indefinitely extends the dates for moving from one Tier into the next Tier and then into EB, and also assume my current 99 weeks is based solely on my Aug 2009 claim and that finally those 99 weeks run out. My question is: after my 99 weeks based on my 2009 claim run out, can I then get another 99 weeks based on my previous 2008 claim?

Again, please point me to where I can find the MA rules that say that is or is not what is supposed to happen.

Thanks extremely much!!!
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
13,858 posts, read 17,832,289 times
Reputation: 6479
Once state benefits have been exhausted, unused EUC tier benefits from earlier claims must be paid first before paying tier benefits on a later second claim. And, yes, you are also entitled to tier benefits from your 2009 claim, for as long as the EUC legislation is in place. This procedure is not unique to MA but is dictated by the EUC legislation and has been followed in CA and PA, just to cite two states, per reports on this board.

Can't explain, however, why your tier benefits are all over the map on amount on one claim. You need to call MA for an explanation.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:21 PM
 
Location: .
126 posts, read 284,730 times
Reputation: 67
I'm sorry for this question possibly being in the wrong spot, but I don't know if I should make a new post.
The MA website is already stating that the unemployment rate for October 2010 is 8.1%. Although the bls.gov website says the data should be released on the 23rd of this month...
Anyway, does this change the qualifications for EB in MA?? I am currently on my 14th week of EB. Will I still be able to claim under EB this month? Thank for any help.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
13,858 posts, read 17,832,289 times
Reputation: 6479
Quote:
Originally Posted by MASSun View Post
The MA website is already stating that the unemployment rate for October 2010 is 8.1%. Will I still be able to claim under EB this month?
Assuming, MA trigger rate is 8% or higher, you should have no problem. Try to call MA to verify.
Quote:
Originally Posted by diorgirl View Post
The unemployment rate triggers for EB can vary from state to state. However, most states opt for the following three-month average unemployment rate triggers:
EB - up to 13 weeks (state must have a three-month average unemployment rate of at least 6%),
High EB - up to an additional 7 weeks (state must have a three-month average unemployment rate of at least 8%).

Many states also require that EB is funded 100% by the federal government as one of the criterion for offering these benefits.

You should check your state's DOL website for the specific EB requirements that are in effect in your state.
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